Bishop Buckley urges action on youth drinking saying it leads to 'serious drug taking'

Bishop Buckley urges action on youth drinking saying it leads to 'serious drug taking'
Bishop John Buckley and Fr Pat Fogarty PP Carrigaline pictured with Breeda O'Connor, Helen McSweeny (on behalf of Anthony Roche), Michael Twomey and Sean McCarthy who received Gold Pioneer Pins and Certificates at the Pioneer Pin Presentations in Our Lady and St John Church in Carrigaline. Picture: Howard Crowdy

A NATIONAL alcohol strategy and school education programmes are needed to steer young people away from the dangers of drink, according to the Bishop of Cork and Ross.

Bishop John Buckley made the statement as he handed out jubilee pins to members of the Pioneer Association in Carrigaline.

The Pioneer Association is the largest abstinence group in the country with a membership of over 150,000. Bishop Buckley is, himself, a lifelong member of the Pioneer Association.

Full group of recipients who received Pioneer Pins and Certificates from Bishop John Buckley and Fr Pat Fogarty PP Carrigaline at a recent ceremony in Our Lady and St John Church in Carrigaline. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Full group of recipients who received Pioneer Pins and Certificates from Bishop John Buckley and Fr Pat Fogarty PP Carrigaline at a recent ceremony in Our Lady and St John Church in Carrigaline. Picture: Howard Crowdy

He said that alcohol damages relationships and often results in the loss of business and careers.

“The abuse of alcohol among young people is often the beginning of a progression towards more serious drug-taking.

“Fr Matthew, whose statue is in St Patrick Street, said our excessive drinking was a drunkenness of despair but pressures of a different kind force people to drink nowadays,” said Bishop Buckley.

“Our problem today is not drunkenness caused by hunger or poverty but one resulting from affluence and leisure,” he added.

Bishop Buckley said a dedicated national alcohol strategy is needed to tackle excessive alcohol intake.

“Those who sell drink should exercise moral responsibility and adhere strictly to the law in the matter of serving drink. No one can deny the glamorisation of alcohol or the millions spent in promoting it. The drink industry is very strong and intimidates legislators like the tobacco industry did. There is a great need also for a national alcohol strategy.

Diocesan Council Officers Jim Crowley, Sorcha Ni Laoghaire (President Cork Region), Aisling Cogan, Barry Cogan and Sheila Murphy pictured with Bishop John Buckley at the recent Pioneer Pin Presentations in Our Lady and St John Church in Carrigaline. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Diocesan Council Officers Jim Crowley, Sorcha Ni Laoghaire (President Cork Region), Aisling Cogan, Barry Cogan and Sheila Murphy pictured with Bishop John Buckley at the recent Pioneer Pin Presentations in Our Lady and St John Church in Carrigaline. Picture: Howard Crowdy

“If one can convince young children that alcohol is a drug which, if misused, can be dangerous and if the adult population gives good example and if proper recreational facilities were available for young people then the problem can begin to be tackled.

“It is a pity that no one seems to be interested in investing in a good non-alcohol disco for example,” Bishop Buckley added.

He encouraged pioneers to show their commitment by going out into society to provide social support especially for young people who are tempted to indulge in drink. He emphasised the fact that there was a great need to draw young people into the organisation.

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